[Coral-List] [EXTERNAL] Re: conservation vs wildlife viewing/interaction

Jordan-Sellers, Terri SAJ Terri.Jordan-Sellers at usace.army.mil
Thu Apr 30 08:22:15 EDT 2015

One thing to keep in mind about crystal river manatee dives. The education program is mandatory for all dive shops who want to run boats to dive with the manatees. This is a regulation of usfws and is not a voluntary action taken by the dive shops. So using this as an example would say that there need to be regulatory programs in place to license coral dive operations, including limitations on the number of divers per year and marked no diver entry areas. If divers enter the area, th dive boat/shop faces penalties including  ‎the potential of not being allowed to bring divers into the reef area.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
  Original Message
From: Steve Mussman
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2015 7:20 AM
To: Ellen Prager; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Reply To: Steve Mussman
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [Coral-List] conservation vs wildlife viewing/interaction

Dear Ellen,

I'd like to use the example you provided relating to manatees to make a counter point. I see no reason why the diving industry can't educate divers about coral reefs in the same way that you were educated about manatees before you entered the water at Crystal River. Everyone who dives there should learn about the nature and extent of the threats to manatees. In the same way, everyone who dives on a coral reef should learn about what is threatening them as well. Manatees would have no chance of survival if we took the position that boating businesses in the area should not have to observe idle speed limits because its bad for business. Thankfully most reefs are not yet dead, but if we don't raise awareness and change some things their future is uncertain at best. The point of it all is that if coral reefs continue to decline as they have over the last thirty years the diving industry will have an even bigger problem maintaining their customer base. A manatee hug goes a long way in developing concern for the species. Coral reefs can't reach out in that way, but we in the diving industry have a responsibility to somehow develop concern for their protection as well. Avoiding the subject or giving the industry a pass because of the delicate balance in which they operate will only serve to further seal the fate of coral reefs world-wide. Then the $$$$$ incentive for the industry will be gone along with our reefs. I think its better to find a way, delicate or not, to save both.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Ellen Prager <pragere at earthlink.net>
>Sent: Apr 29, 2015 10:22 AM
>To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>Subject: [Coral-List] conservation vs wildlife viewing/interaction
>Dear coral listers
>Thought some of you might appreciate my blog about finding a balance between wildlife conservation and viewing/ interaction at http://mission-blue.org/2015/04/the-manatees-hug/
>This also pertains to the diving industry and coral reefs. I've been following the ongoing discussions here. Yes, I believe the diving industry needs to educate divers about proper diving behavior and conserving coral reefs. And I'd love to see the diving industry become more active in promoting conservation. However, it is a delicate balance for them. If dive operators go around saying coral reefs are dead or dying, they will lose the customer base that keeps them in operation and gives them access to divers to educate them. And we lose the economic incentives from the tourist industry for regional managers and policymakers to invest in better coral reef protection...
>I'd love to think that everyone loves coral reefs and wants to protect them for scientific, ecologic, or ethical reasons….but $$$$$ are an incentive we cannot afford to lose.
>Dr. Ellen Prager
>Earth2Ocean, Inc
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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